Ärzte Zeitung online, 21.11.2008

Measuring Blood Pressure with New Devices

Three New Devices for Use in Doctors‘ Practices and at Home.

Measuring Blood Pressure with New Devices

Although guidelines describe precisely the practical procedure for measuring blood pressure, it has not been implemented sufficiently in practice. Photo: Klaro

New blood pressure meters will be on show at the Medica which take into account the requirements of international guidelines for the diagnosis of hypertension. The complete range is comprised of three individual devices intended for medical practices, use in the home, and long-term blood pressure monitoring.

The WatchBP™ system from the Swiss company Microlife is the first complete blood pressure measuring system to be based on the guidelines. It was developed in co-operation with the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) and is based on the recommendations of European (ESH), American (AHA) and international (WHO) guidelines for measuring blood pressure. For example, the device for medical practices measures the patient's blood pressure during the initial examination three times on the left and right arms simultaneously. The device for home use automatically records two blood pressure values with a time interval of one minute, in accordance with the recommended two measurements each morning and evening.

The third machine is a hybrid device that can be used for taking individual measurements at home and for long-term monitoring in outpatients. As Dr Thomas Mengden of Bonn University Hospital reported at an event organised by Microlife in Berlin, the combination of practice and home measurements helps in the diagnosis of hypertension. Individual measurements at the doctor's surgery or at home are often too high or too low. In the case of the diastolic blood pressure, the deviation from the true value can be as much as 5 mmHg in either direction, according to Mengden. If treatment is not given to a patient whose diastolic blood pressure was underestimated, there is an increased risk for cardiovascular complications.

Although the guidelines describe precisely the practical procedure for measuring blood pressure, up to now it has not been implemented sufficiently in practice. The new meters make this easier, Mengden says. The three devices are equipped with special software and provide an analysis of the blood pressure values. The meters cost between 100 euros (device for home use with an integrated measurement plan) and 700 euros (professional device for medical practices).

Microlife Corporation,
www.microlife.com, media@microlife.ch
Medica: Hall 11 / B 60

MEDICA 2008 in Düsseldorf (110)
AHA (287)
WHO (2950)

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